May 2, 2008

Cleaner Air along the Front Range

Earlier this week, a coalition of public health and environmental groups called on the Regional Air Quality Council to set their sights on meeting the newer, stronger limit on smog along the Front Range, instead of an older, weaker standard.

Yesterday, the Council heeded the call and unanimously voted to set as their goal meeting the new smog standard.  The move promises cleaner air for the Front Range and healthier communities.

To recap, last March the Environmental Protection Agency revised the standard limiting ground-level ozone nationwide.  Ground-level ozone is the key ingredient of smog.  The new standard limits ozone to no more than 75 parts per billion over eight hours.  The old standard limited ozone to no more than 84 parts per billion, and the Front Range violated that standard last year.  Unfortunately, while we have a new ozone standard, current efforts to reduce ozone have been focused on meeting the older limits.

The Regional Air Quality Council's vote yesterday means that our smog reduction efforts along the Front Range now need to focus on meeting the newer smog limits.  It's a smart move, and public health stands to benefit tremendously.

With our goal set, the next step is deciding what smog reduction strategies we need to adopt.  We're one big step closer to cleaner, healthier air here along the Front Range, and we hope to help make the next big steps toward our ultimate goal.

On a related note, yesterday the American Lung Association also released their annual State of the Air report.  The Denver metro area has some pretty bad grades because of its air pollution.  You can check the state of your air on the American Lung Association's website--be sure to send a letter for clean, healthy air!

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